VIII. Brigadier General W. W. Mackall is hereby assigned to the command of the brigade lately commanded by Brigadier-General Hebert.
By command of General Johnston:
BENJ. S. EWELL,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE, Missionary Ridge, November 4, 1863.
Major General S. D. LEE,
Commanding Cavalry, Tuscumbia:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 31st ultimo in regard to the movements of the enemy and expressive of a desire to return to Mississippi.
In reply thereto I am instructed by the general commanding to convey to you and your gallant command his thanks for the earnest and efficient manner in which you have labored in his department. You can at your discretion return to your own department.
But in parting with you he directs me to say that he and this army will hold in grateful remembrance the valuable and distinguished services which you have rendered.
I am, general, very respectfully and truly, your obedient servant,
GEORGE WM. BRENT,
Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY IN MISSISSIPPI, November 4, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel GEORGE W. BRENT,
A. A. G., Army of Tennessee, near Chattanooga:
COLONEL: Your communication of the 2nd instant is just received. I fear there will be difficulty in crossing the river, and after crossing the trip will be a hazardous one with the present disposition of the forces of the enemy.
The enemy are now marching from Eastport toward Huntsville. Day before yesterday evening their advance (an infantry brigade) was at Rogersville.
Yesterday their pickets at Lamb's Ferry were firing at ours across the river and they are watching the different crossings. A large cavalry force of the enemy is reported at New Market. My ammunition has not arrived yet, though I have heard of it and expect the train in a few days. There are but few boats to be had, but will be able to cross unless the enemy occupy the opposite bank and dispute the crossing. My command under the most favorable circumstances will not be able to attempt a crossing in less than four days. They are clad but scantily in summer clothing, poorly shod, and without blankets. The rivers are now high. From your two communications of the 31st ultimo and 2nd instant, I am led to believe the move indicated is considered all important and shall at once prepare for the trip to be carried out as early as practicable, and my objections are made that the general may thoroughly understand the condition of affairs here and not from any disinclination on my part to attempt the trip.